Proposal: Flying Primarchs & Atlas Pacing


#1

I feel (perhaps incorrectly) like one of the more commonly expressed sentiments around here is that War Dragons is a fast-paced, action-oriented game – and that Atlas should maintain that spirit. It’s kind of an extension of Panda’s early observation that the game should always be about flying our awesome dragons. I think War Dragons also has a lot of fun strategy, and many of us really enjoy flying with our teams (myself included). Atlas was inspired by the incredible dedication we saw to war, and we’ve tried to give teams exciting new ways to interact with one another and leverage team bonds. Anyway, more on that here.

I’ve been bouncing around some ideas about how to improve that pacing, and have some pretty controversial ideas I wanted to discuss. I’m also interested in hearing more about what changes you might make to help achieve this goal (or perhaps you’re in another camp entirely and would rather see it slow down?). Anyway, here are some ideas, starting with the least controversial (imo) of the batch:

(1) Add a Move & Attack option on mines and poachers. This option shows up if you tap on a mine/poacher in the same region as your Primarch. You will immediately attack the mine/poacher (no travel required) without needing to wait for any travel time. More action, less waiting.

(2) Flying Primarchs - Primarchs can now fly directly to their destination. They will travel faster than now (no longer than 10min to any location on the map). This makes them easier to use, especially for new players (and old vets like me) who manage to get stuck in blockades nowadays. This mode of travel will make portals obsolete (so we can remove them to simplify the game and remove some clutter). There would also no longer be any need for the “Move Next” option so it could be removed too. Blockades would be of little use, so we might as well remove them too. The net of all these changes? Probably less confusion, and certainly much snappier travel. On the downside, I know some teams treasure their borders, neighbors and the defensive benefits provided by a world in which travel is more encumbered.

What changes would you make? No idea is too wild to consider.


Feedback for First rough draft of World War
#2

Keep blockades!

Only allow flight to neutral zones. Then travel across to take over lands etc.

We should be able to defend our areas on the map without having to worry about getting rained on from above.

10min or less to anywhere is awesome!
That would change a lot of things!


#3
  1. I like this ideal but why does it say MOVE, when there is no traveling needed?

This has potential to help people who share territory’s from being blocked from using these rss


#4
  1. I personally like how travel is right now…
    Yes it would be nice to have longer travel times, over 15min reduced drastically, say 50-75% (but if you travel from 1 side of the map to the other it should take time 30min to 1 hr)

But from a defense/stratigical aspect
I like blockades
I like slower short range travel times( gives the team that is about to be hit not much time but sometime to gather teammates and try to plan to defend/counter attack)


#5

1 - Awesome, this is technically already achievable by catching the primarch when it makes an instant jump over before it readjusts to the actual travel path :smiling_imp:
2: Travel time reduction would be great, especially through a chain of safezones/safe passage areas. I think that there are other changes that’d need to be made. I’m also a bit curious as to why being able to roam the map is important, other than the stage attacks? Atlas isn’t an RPG where there are new and distinct areas to discover and explore, just more continents. Maybe to leech mines and poachers?

  • Trolling/Wasted Efforts: Leaving everything a free for all makes it even easier for more teams to mess with other teams (posts about massively unmatched battles and the like, getting wiped off the map, etc.) and becomes far too tiresome; that’s a lot of work, time, and potentially money gone for both troops and infrastructure (:+1: for infrastructure storage, though).
  • Fog of War: If this is done, people shouldn’t be able to see the full details of a continent; it should be obstructed by the fog of war and require some other action.
  • Ease of Escape: The issue with a team attacking and then sneaking away into safe zone/elsewhere would become even worse with this in some ways, unless the aggressor primarchs/teams could be more easily tracked/susceptible for a period of time afterwards.

I’m also just barely awake right now :woman_facepalming:


#6

In other threads, you state that you want to reduce the amount of land some teams have and opening it up to the wider player base. Isn’t allowing players to arrive at any destination in a minute (after they use haste) completely the opposite of this? For example, let’s say TheEmpire has a few spread out bases and you decide to take one, knowing that with the upkeep changes they may just let a lower continent go. But now that someone can click and fly there, there is nothing from stopping their bigs to get instant retribution rather than contemplating if it is worth it. Regional alliance will also become worthless, as any base in any location becomes instantly accessible. Before you could at least see troops congregating to know if a team was planning on making a move. Now they can attack from any location. I guess I could see flying from safe zone to safe zone, but flying anywhere seems egregious.

The concept of safe zones and travel lanes might as well be eliminated then. Just have one safe zone for each element and call it a day.


#7

(1) Add a Move & Attack

  • just add a Attack button. But basically you don’t need primarch anymore. Replace the primarch with a set of armor, more like “equip armor to dragon” and use the dragons in your roster. Your dragons become your primarch and you equip Sieger, Destroyer, Taunter, Rusher abilities to it (maybe even more possibilities here)

(2) Flying Primarchs -

  • Blockades are important for defensive action. Removing them completely might throw off the balance completely. What about adding “landing zones

This landing zones can be used in all save zones and friendly territory.

(3) Category’s -
I’d also like to be able to list teams. For example: Friends, No Threat, unknown and enemy.

  • all teams will be “unknown” until added to a list.
  • the list your team added them on gives them special abilities, like being able to use your “landing zones”, same defense buffs and maybe show their dragons (primarch) a specific color for example green for friends.

#8

Would it be easier instead of granting passage…have a list of teams you want to trap ?


#9

My thoughts on travel is like this:

Kingdoms ( Everything your team owns that is contiguous)

  • allow point to point travel there (across borders/zones), that is near instant. In other words the “move and attack” option, like for mines stated above, or moving from castle to castle
  • Make troop movement across kingdom instant or virtualized
  • in other words if I want to move 1000 troops from Castle 1 to castle 2, i do so in a simple menu system, not have to move my prime there, load up, move prime elsewhere, dropoff

Empires - everything your alliance owns -

  • Allow point to point travel, but that takes a bit more time

Outside of empires - move along “pathways” - current Safezones.

  • All “safezones” become NML, and travel is fast, but via set routes and pvp is available.

Privateering/Pirating

  • Specific primarch that can bypass “border controls”
  • fairly weak but can be used to ambush across borders, but with severe penalties for hitting forts.

Reasoning for the above

  • The kingdom movement is quality of life

  • So is the empire movement, but takes a little longer, as you don’t really want people to “instantly” portal to a teams defense, else no one will ever be able to kill anything

  • The safezone/NML travel is necessary for balance and strategy; there is a lot of strategy and complexity that gets added to the fun part of atlas, by choosing land with minimal access, or certain neighbours, or excluding certain neighbours etc. This will all fall away with A-B movement thats free.

  • There is even more strategy in “fortifying” borders, that is probably a bit more useful than most people think

  • Privateering is fun, and essentially harmless other than a bit of mischief.

The above is dependent on
a) Havens
b) Alliance toolsets


#10

I couldn’t say it any better.


#11

Yes to everything Gox said :+1:


#12

So I think this should be done when contextually relevant. I also think position of other things should be standardized. For example actions could be the left radial, so when move and attack is possible it should be the button. When you need to move it should say move, when you need to attack it should say attack, when you are already moving it should be move next. Special options/skills should be the top. Which when you are moving it should be either stop or move, making navigation of next move more fluid.

So I think this is on the right track but not quite right.

We should be striving to automate mundane redundant tasks because that’s not the type of game war dragons is/should be.

We should also reduce travel times within reason.

One thing I would do for sure is default all navigation to safe travel by default. (hell it could be fastest and safe). While the technical few know how to use move next effectively, I’d bet more than 50% of people would prefer they could just click and travel the safe zones. It automated a mundane thing and you could still allow for a button to navigate differently for those who want it.

I think safezones/NML should turn into a highway. Effectively proving faster than normal (safe) travel when sticking to a safe zone and traveling at least x. Maybe even tempered with a highway usage cooldown. (If you traveled more than x, slowdown to non-highway speeds when moving for a period of time).

Maybe they would also have a drawback of revealing where nearby primarchs entered the highway from when exiting close by your infrastructure. (Maybe a bad idea just thought I’d throw it out there in case it had legs, it sort of happens with existing travel lines if it’s more than a few min and can be seen)


#13

I like everything you said except this bit. Yes I see it is contingent on havens. While I would like to fix the safe zone abuse as well, I wouldn’t make fixing it contingent on allowing speedy travel (but I’m also against instant travel)

The way I see it it’s not really a huge burden to move/stage a ton of troops into the safe zone right outside of your property as it is now, so making this possible to do faster won’t really increase risk or use significantly. If anything it allows more shooting from the hip which should be sloppier than a slowed down and better planned attack.

Time should matter, but it’s tricky. I don’t think I’d want to require proximity to defend a teammate in atlas, but I also don’t think waiting 30 minutes to do a thing is worth it. At best we have 2-5 minutes of attention before it becomes boring.

The whole time thing I think matters in how big we think an average battle should be. Too long and you waste all troops in one attack and are done with the game for the day. Too short and the possibility for terrorizing large chunks of the map appear.

I feel like time should matter and there should be strategy by working with teammates that allows you to do things in reasonable time when working with more people or something.

Crazy idea I just had (probably full of holes) what if you had a rally that would specifically travel at a speed depending on how many of what kind of primarchs you had (or maybe instant with a capacity of x primarchs), and wherever you landed you could only attack next door from where you are or return home, and the rally members are subject to being attacked until the rally starts marching home (which requires primarchs return to their rally point including blockade time, before starting to head home)

Probably too complex. Also FYI that rally is not intended to be a multi attack it’s just fast travel + staging + limits your actions and forces risk all in one

I’m pretty sure I think this isn’t emphasized enough. One of the most tiedious and most confusing aspect of atlas is who is who (beyond dread and a few others that everyone knows)

If nothing else a formal alliance declaration/association is essentially a must. Anything we do without it has a high chance of needing code rewritten later.


#14

Maybe I’m wrong about this, but to me the thing that makes Atlas much slower paced isn’t the travel so much as how valuable the troop consumable is (and btw, the World War proposal would have managed to spike its value exponentially).

Thought experiment: All barriers to travel are removed. Click and go system implemented. I actually don’t think this is so much more radical that 10 minutes across the map without restrictions. Certainly, it would open up some intriguing possibilities. But I don’t think it would materially affect how I think about Atlas. At the end of the day, I am bounded by the troop consumable in a way completely alien to the main game. Health potions are abundant. But I can get bled out of troops over time, or, for those players who have excess troops over the revive cap, all at once if they suffer a catastrophic loss. No troops–can’t do anything in Atlas. I guess my point being that I am far more aware of the impact of losing troops than I am about the travel hassles when it comes to Atlas.

Further points–no blocker means no borders. No borders easy travel will also increase the (already significant) time Atlas takes. It will bring the annoying aspect of main game war (around the clock vigilance for banners out of nowhere) and bring it to Atlas. It also will exacerbate the neutral zone sword and shield problem. Transport in, smash when offline, transport to neutral zone and be free from reprisals. It also completely wipes out infrastructure investment and carefully chosen neighbors. In some sense, it totally destroys the feeling of being rooted in a location.

Here’s what I do favor:

  1. Keep borders/blockers. Add timers showing when shields are set to drop. Shorten blockade times (start by cutting them in half). Scale blockade times more sharply by fort level to provide greater benefits to owning high level land (this is actually a global comment–sharpen distinction in land ownership).
  2. Greatly increase travel speed across owned territory (close to instant if contiguous).
  3. Allow deemed flying travel to other owned lands without using annoying portals. Reasonable travel delay unless just de minimus troop movement–under 1000 maybe? (assuming 1 troop trolling has been totally fixed).
  4. If the upkeep change is successful in creating wide ownership dispersal, change neutral to all NML.
  5. Limited alliance tools including travel coordination–by limited I mean encourage and support smaller alliances to increase dynamism. Obviously you can’t force teams to attack each other…but it could be interesting of only alliances up to N members are supported at first. Might cause neglected members to shop around for a better deal…
  6. Make the troop consumable less important, not more important. Provide a reasonable cap on the advantage spending confers to getting more troops.

This is all I can think of atm. Might have more later.


#15

@forScience

  • Re trolling – Hopefully the new Fort bonus (+300%) will more than offset this (I’m hoping to take a bite out of existing solo trolls … team trolls can still overcome it, but it’s only fair that a stronger team be able to force a weaker team off of territory it wants to control).
  • Re escape – Finding someone would be hard, but that can already be the case too. Flying away won’t stop counterattacks in progress though (just like now).

@PurpleFire

  • Re converting Primarchs to armor – interesting idea, though I think this probably isn’t in the cards. A physical presence in the world is important, even if Primarchs can fly.
  • Re blockades – I think blockades are overrated … especially if we go through with the 300% fort boost. I like the idea of them in theory, but flying primarchs don’t seem compatible with blockades. Some others suggested flying only to neutral zones … seems plausible, though it is probably overly complicated to have two different forms of movement based on where you’re going.
  • Categories sound useful. I know others want it to go further (e.g., friends get safe passage).

@Gox1201

  • Re virtual troops - Very interesting idea. It kind of bypasses the limit of troops on a Primarch though; you could refill your Primarch after each attack, say. Maybe not that big a deal if flying is quick anyway. Deserves more thought.
  • Re ambusher - I assume it would be used to strike troops at mines/poachers given it is weak vs forts?

@EidolonRM Routing Primarchs via fastest safe route is definitely possible, but I suspect this would only address a minority of multi-hop routes – many territory are not adjacent to neutral lands.

@Spooky

  • What do limited alliance tools look like? I’m concerned that alliances could be used by groups of already dominant teams to make even more dominant alliances.
  • Safe --> NML sounds like a good plan if there is indeed sufficient territory after the upkeep changes play out. I’m optimistic :slight_smile:, but let’s see.
  • I’m concerned that flying in friendly regions and walking through enemy regions will be jarring and confusing. What if you could only fly into:
    • Any safe zone or NML
    • Regions you or an ally owns (ally = someone who gave you safe passage, for now)
    • Any castle you could travel to directly on foot under the old system (i.e., a castle adjacent to the castle where your Primarch is located)

This would prevent teams from flying in the midst of enemy territory. In this case we could keep blockades, as they’d keep Primarchs from penetrating deeper into your territory without a length wait or fight. tl;dr We go with a restricted form of flight. It might be a little confusing at first to figure out where you’re allowed to fly … but we already have the blockade circles and I think they could help visualize permissible moves. (I’m still leaning towards these flights not being instantaneous … ~10m to get across the world, as mentioned above … so faster than before, but not instant).


#16

Perhaps a variation on this theme then. Instead of blockades that stop enemy primes from moving, we can still have a shield that acts like an anti-air defence system. Any enemy (i.e. anyone without free passage movement) going over or through your territory will incur a x% troop loss.

This will cause teams who want to mass troops to take a more circuitous route, enable alliances to protect the innards of their territory by having anti-air defences on their perimeter (kind of like real life now actually).


#17

I’m not sure that is a problem. It basically does the same as now but travel times cut down. Once you get there I think you would essentially battle until all primarchs had been freed (or land freed) - allows you to have more than a 15 min battle and log out if you have to carve or secure passage.

I thought that geographical boundaries are an intentional mechanic? The way roads are setup it led me to think it was. I kind of like the strategy of you need to go through a team or around, but I’ve also felt that the borders of where land is released should have had the safezones opened so people could hit those lands from all sides.

I’m not opposed to making direct attack possible for everyone, but my gut reaction is that it’s probably not the right thing to do. Although I suppose with a 300% buff redesigning for direct contact makes sense. It just seems like the map should be adjusted so there are no land locked locations instead. (But yeah I can see how that’s a lot more work, but flying just seems wrong)


#18

It would help a lot if you could let people you give passage to use your portals as well.


#19

Very limited–mark a modest number of allies as allies so they show up color coded as an allied primarch (maybe a green color?) and you get a pop up warning before attacking them. Maybe an ability to share a coordinate that could be used for travel (like a bookmark). Perhaps an alliance crest for owned lands. Bare bones stuff and limited in number. It might actually put downward pressure on bigger alliances, idk. No one likes to think of themselves as the alliance side chick :see_no_evil:

Having seen the new upkeep costs, I share your optimism :stuck_out_tongue:

Exactly my point–if you get rid of borders entirely, Atlas no longer feels like a rooted place. I would definitely favor the more modified and limited system you set forth above. I think that with how Atlas works, incremental changes are almost always preferable.

One point of disagreement–not as sure about the ally one actually as I think it’s too much of a boon for large alliances. Maybe if you like my idea of a very limited sense of alliance tools, you could add something like a 24 hour waiting period for allied fast travel privileges once an ally is added to avoid end running the intended limitations.


#20

I really like this idea. It would help. I was thinking you can use blockades also. If you are traveling and choosing to land in a land with a blockade then you are stuck. Therefore blockades can be used, but if you are not landing therefore passing it that seems better and truly opens the map.